India is at crossroads with gay movement: Ian McKellen

Ian-McKellen The openly gay British actor Ian McKellen is in India this week to promote Shakespeare films and open an LGBT-themed film festival, telling a Mumbai newspaper that India 'needs to grow up' over its attitudes toward homosexuality | AP

Hollywood star Ian McKellen says India is at a juncture where it needs to decide whether it wants to move towards equality or stuck in the past as far as protection of LGBT rights is concerned.

The Lord of the Rings actor, who is openly gay, was speaking at the inauguration of seventh Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, India's only mainstream LGBT film fest.

"It seems to me that India is at some crossroads or another. You have to decide whether you're going to be stuck in the colonial past or enter the modern world. Join the rest of us, who are simply prepared to accept that we are all born equal, be it the colour of our skin or hair," he told reporters here.

"Whatever our sexuality, whatever our taste, we must all be treated equally. That is the world Nelson Mandela fought for. That is the future, I believe, Mahatma Gandhi dreamt of seeing," the veteran actor added.

India McKellen British actor Ian McKellen poses for media during Kashish 2016, a South Asia's queer film festival in Mumbai, India | AP

McKellen, who was the chief guest at the ceremony, seemed to make a statement through his outfit too as he wore a T-shirt that read, "Some people are gay. Get over it."

Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor also addressed the issue of homosexuality, saying discrimination on the basis of one's sexual preference is not right.

"I feel most of my fans, who follow me, are either women, gay men or lesbians. If they support me I support them too... Hopefully one day there are no labels and everybody is just a human being.

"It is about humanity and not gay, lesbian, transgender, transsexual or anything. It's just a person likes another person and they be who they want to be. I hope that day comes," she said.

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Topics : #Hollywood | #Bollywood

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